Early Buzz: Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox

fantastic mr fox logo

As we previously reported, Wes Anderson‘s animated adaptation of Roald Dahl‘s Fantastic Mr. Fox had it’s first set of test screenings over the weekend in New York. We have yet to receive a reader report (although we’re expecting one), but some early word has been posted on internet message boards, including early chatter that the ending of the film differs from the original book. And the film’s official logo (seen above) on display somewhere at ShoWest has been posted by JoBlo on Twitpic. Check out two of the test screening reports after the jump.

As always, let me remind all of you that the film shown was an early test screening cut, which can be, and most times is, vastly different than the completed cut of the movie. The following mini-test screening review was posted by anonymous on absolutepunk.net .

Fantastic Mr. Fox – 9/10.

Ive seen many test screenings lately, and this by far was the best of them (others being Taking Woodstock & Assasination of High School President). It was a different company doing the test screening so there was no focus group after to talk of the movie…and they made me sign a contract saying that I wouldnt do what Im doing (reviewing the movie). But it was good! To me it was Watership Down + Wallace and Gromit + Wes Anderson = Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Clooney was very good..and i didnt know Streep did the voice of felicity, and she was great considering Im not a fan of hers. It was very “indie” at times, but not over the top… and there was a good balance of kid humor and subtle humor as well. Its everything you expect from a Wes Anderson, but better in my mind. The pace was perfecto, never too slow (like most wes movies)…and the sequences were fun. The animation was cool too. Will i get sued for this review?

The following test screening review was posted on RLMukForum.com.

I saw an advanced screening of this a couple of days ago, and it’s got me very excited.

I’m a big Wes Anderson fan as it is, and Fantastic Mr Fox is such a great story that it would be very hard to screw it up, but from what I’ve seen so far, he’s really done an incredible job. The film itself isn’t out until the end of this year, and, at the moment, is only half finished. The version that I saw was as part of a viewer survery group, and only about 50% of it had been animated by that point, with the rest filled in with animatics and the odd inclusion of Wes Andersons voice popping up every now and again for a line that hadn’t been recorded yet.

Regardless of that, the film was very good. Even on an ungraded film reel, it still looked absolutely fantastic. I’ve had a quick scout about on Google, but I couldn’t find one solitary screenshot of the film, so I’ll do my best to describe the characters. It’s done using stop-motion animation, and all of the models and backgrounds are intricately detailed. You can see the individual hairs on the foxes faces move about in the wind on close ups, and the action scenes that they had completed were both good to look at and fun to watch.

The plot itself doesn’t deviate from the book that much. At the moment they’ve changed the ending slightly from the book, but from the feedback we gave in the discussion at the end, it wasn’t particularly popular (although I personally thought it was quite good), so they may do something completely different with it. Other than that, there’s not too much I can say. The forms they got us all to scene was pretty strict with regards to what we could talk about, but if you’ve read the book, and watched a Wes Anderson film, you can easily put together what it’s probably going to be like. I can say that I laughed a lot though. It’s a funny film. Bill Murray is his usual brilliant self as Badger, and somebody who’s name I can’t say is brilliant as Farmer Boggis. Or is it Bunce? The one who makes the awesome cider.

Anyway. It’s great. I can’t wait to see the finished version, and neither should you.

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